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In re Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 16, 2019

IN RE Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation, Case Caption Case Number Plaintiff's Residence Case Caption Case Number

          ORDER

          David G. Campbell Senior United States District Judge

         The parties have filed updated reports on Track 3 cases with plaintiff profile form and service of process issues and Track 3 cases for which no federal jurisdiction exists. Docs. 20066, 20209, 20210, 20618. The Court will dismiss some of these cases without prejudice and transfer other cases to appropriate districts.

         A. Cases without Federal Jurisdiction.

         Federal subject matter jurisdiction may be based on either federal question jurisdiction or diversity jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332. Courts “analyze federal question jurisdiction with reference to the well-pleaded complaint rule.” Yokeno v. Mafnas, 973 F.2d 803, 807 (9th Cir. 1992). Under that rule, “federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented on the face of a properly pleaded complaint.” Scholastic Entm't, Inc. v. Fox Entm't Grp., Inc., 336 F.3d 982, 986 (9th Cir. 2003). The complaint must establish either that “federal law creates the cause of action or that . . . the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law.” Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co. v. An Exclusive Gas Storage Leasehold & Easement, 524 F.3d 1090, 1102 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983)).

         The master complaint in this MDL asserts seventeen state law claims. See Doc. 364 ¶¶ 166-349. Because the complaint asserts no federal claim and Plaintiffs' right to relief on the state law claims does not depend on resolution of a federal law question, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction under the federal question statute. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331; Yokeno, 973 F.2d at 809.

         Subject matter jurisdiction must therefore be based on diversity of citizenship. See Yokeno, 973 F.2d at 809. District courts have diversity jurisdiction over cases between citizens of different states involving claims greater than $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Section 1332 requires complete diversity between the parties - that is, the citizenship of the plaintiff must be diverse from the citizenship of each defendant. See Caterpillar, Inc. v. Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 68 (1996).

         For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, Defendant C. R. Bard, Inc. is a citizen of New Jersey and Defendant Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. is a citizen of Arizona. Doc. 364 ¶¶ 11-12; see Indus. Tectonics, Inc. v. Aero Alloy, 912 F.2d 1090, 1092 (9th Cir. 1990) (noting that “a corporation is a citizen of any state where it is incorporated and of the state where it has its principal place of business”) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)). Complete diversity does not exist, therefore, where the Plaintiff is a resident of either Arizona or New Jersey. See Williams v. United Airlines, Inc., 500 F.3d 1019, 1025 (9th Cir. 2007) (“Although diversity jurisdiction provides an independent basis for federal jurisdiction over state law claims, complete diversity is lacking in this case because both [plaintiff] and [defendant] are citizens of California.”).

         The parties' updated report identifies pending Track 3 cases in which diversity jurisdiction does not exist because the Plaintiff is either a resident of Arizona or New Jersey. Doc. 20210-1. In most of these cases, Plaintiffs agree to a dismissal without prejudice. Id. Plaintiffs in some cases oppose dismissal, but provide no reason why the cases should not be dismissed given the lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See id.

         A district court may dismiss a case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction at any time during the pendency of the action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3); Snell v. Cleveland, Inc., 316 F.3d 822, 826 (9th Cir. 2002) (noting Rule 12(h)(3) permits a district court to “raise the question of subject matter jurisdiction[] sua sponte”); In re Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Prods. Liab. Litig., 460 F.3d 1217, 1230-31 (9th Cir. 2006) (an MDL “transferee judge exercises all the powers of a district judge in the transferee district under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure”). The following cases lack subject matter jurisdiction and are dismissed without prejudice:

Case Caption
Case Number
Plaintiff's Residence

Stephen Albert v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-01010

Arizona

Patricia Borg v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-04221

Arizona

Annette Casey v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:16-cv-02558

Arizona

Frederick Hollister v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-03237

Arizona

Chris Vandell v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:17-cv-01549

Arizona

James Chambers v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-04521

Arizona

Elena Ruiz v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-01645

Arizona

Sonja Lee Brumfield v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-03124

Arizona

Catherine A. Bean v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-03468

Arizona

James Dale Meredith v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-03605

Arizona

Jan Louise Norquest v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-3609

Arizona

Faith Crawford v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-04259

Arizona

James Noa v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:17-cv-02389

Arizona

William Barben v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-2460

New Jersey

Giles Bartosch v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-00058

New Jersey

Edith Cruz v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-02432

New Jersey

Melissa Czarnecki v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:16-cv-01086

New Jersey

William Engh v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-03080

New Jersey

Renee Harris v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:16-cv-01993

New Jersey

Robert James Maiore v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-02772

New Jersey

Carlos Mason v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-03762

New Jersey

Erwin Melendez v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-01400

New Jersey

Charles Miller v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-02544

New Jersey

Marilyn Ann Ratz v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-00574

New Jersey

Robert Russo v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-01287

New Jersey

Saad Sabir v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-00328

New Jersey

Katherine Varian v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-01611

New Jersey

Dianna L. Kubik v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-04293

New Jersey

Barbara S. Rossell v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:18-cv-04307

New Jersey

Sandra J. Farley v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-00844

New Jersey

William H. Jackson, IV v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-01559

New Jersey

Philip Merten v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-01637

New Jersey

Eileen O'Brien v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-01639

New Jersey

Kimberly Watkins v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-02312

New Jersey

Richard D. Mozgai v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-02444

New Jersey

Lisa M. Anderson v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-03122

New Jersey

Carolyn G. Murray v. C. R. Bard, Inc.

2:19-cv-03607

New Jersey

         Plaintiff in Pickraum, CV-18-04338, is a New Jersey resident who recently filed an amended short form complaint that removes C. R. Bard as a Defendant. Doc. 20625. Because the sole remaining Defendant, Bard Peripheral Vascular, is a citizen of Arizona, diversity jurisdiction now exists in the case. See Galt G/S v. JSS Scandinavia, 142 F.3d 1150, 1154 (9th Cir. 1998) (noting that “Rule 21 specifically allows for the dismissal of parties at any stage of the action” and there “is no requirement that diversity exist at the time of the filing of the complaint”). The case will be transferred to the District of New Jersey in a separate order. See Docs. 19899 at 3-6, 20625 at 2.

         Plaintiff in Butterfield, CV-19-00395, a New Jersey resident, states that she will stipulate to the dismissal of C. R. Bard. Doc. 20210-1 at 8. Plaintiff shall file a stipulation to dismiss C. R. Bard or an amended short form complaint against only Bard Peripheral Vascular by October 31, 2019.

         B. Cases with Plaintiff Profile Form Issues.

         As noted, the parties filed updated reports on Track 3 cases with plaintiff profile form ...


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